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Anxiety hits immunisation drive in Meghalaya

The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare has identified three districts in the state - East Khasi Hills, East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills - where the immunisation programme has been hit the hardest.

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Shillong: Anxiety among people, especially in the rural areas of contracting Covid19 has hit the immunisation drive for children and expectant mothers in Meghalaya and the government is making extra efforts to boost the vaccination drive.

The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare has identified three districts in the state – East Khasi Hills, East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills – where the immunisation programme has been hit the hardest.

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“Due to the Covid19 pandemic in the last two years, mothers had been reluctant to come forward in administering vaccines to their children for fear of being infected,” State Immunization Officer, P Manners, said.

Apart from the pandemic, the state has a history of vaccine hesitancy due to superstition and religious beliefs and several vaccination drives have been affected. In recent days, the state government has been trying hard to convince people to get their anti Covid19 vaccine.

According to the latest figures, the state has administered 13,43,394 (Covid) first dose and 9,36,689 second dose. In all the state has administered 23,01,025 first and second doses. The state has close to 30 lakh population.

“To overcome this shortfall of two years the state is launching an Intensified Mission Indradhanush 4.0 to reach out to unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children and pregnant women,” Manners said.

The weeklong Intensified Mission Indradhanush 4.0 will be launched in three phases from Monday. The next weeklong phase would begin from March 7 and then again from April 4. One such vaccination drive camp was launched from Sohryngkham Neng, East Khasi Hills. 

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